It seems just like yesterday that the smiling and youthful man took his Presidential oath of allegiance at State House, vowing to work for the greater good of Seychelles.
It is an occasion many will remember for its strong emotional sentiments. After expressing his gratitude to his predecessors, Presidents France Albert René and James Michel, the new President turned to his family and said “ Mersi Dadi, Mersi Manmi”, setting the tone to the importance he attaches to values.
Today, seven months later, many within the ranks of the parliamentary opposition, which had boycotted the State House ceremony, agree that he is doing a fine job, committed to consultations and dialogue.
President Faure is never happier than walking about in the districts, meeting and talking to everyone. He has set aside a day every week, when he meets constituents desiring to discuss some point of concern with him and allow him to remain connected to the people and every day realities.
He has also ensured that members of his Cabinet do likewise.
Unlike previous Heads of State, President Faure is faced with a new situation- of having to work with a majority of opposition MNAs in the Assembly.
However, cohabitation is not an alien concept to President Faure as he is used to consulting others. He has to consent to sacrifices while striving to put Seychelles’ interests first in his dealings with the new Assembly.
To him, what is paramount is the interests and advantages for Seychelles, rather than the gains of just one or two political parties.
At the Parti Lepep’s Extraordinary congress on April 8, his predecessor, who had passed the Presidency to him last October, said that he fully trusted President Faure and that he is handling things the right way.
As if to emphasize that trust, President Michel also said that he shall be stepping down as Party leader in June and allow the younger generation to take over in an orderly transition.
It is clear for both leaders, convictions and principles remain intact.
Since last October, President Faure has been forging links with a number of countries in the region. He attended the Francophone Summit in the Malagasy capital of Antananarivo. There he conferred with his Malagasy and Mauritian counterparts for stronger ties among the island member countries of the Commission de l’Ocean Indien (COI).
President Faure has also been to Sri Lanka where avenues for increased trade were discussed.
His most recent visit has been to Kenya, where he led a high level delegation from the public and private sector. Besides talks with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, he visited the Kenya Meat Authority and several other ventures.
President Faure also met with members of the Seychellois community living in the East African country. It is very likely that trade and other links has received a big boost following the trip, which received extensive coverage in the Kenyan press.
Seychelles has a modern economy, a thriving business sector and a good reputation abroad, but the time is ripe to address some concerns and ensure better delivery in government and the communities.
He is always insisting that civil servants should take their jobs seriously, refrain from putting politics in their work and deliver the best to the public.
President Faure sets the trend himself, by working long hours- even weekends- and treating everyone in the same way, whatever their affiliations.
President Faure has nominated several high-profile personalities as chairman of public bodies, such as the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB ) and the Islands Development Company (IDC).
The appointment of a Seychellois to head the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) has also received unanimous approval.
In a significant gesture of putting the past behind and looking ahead to the future, President Faure has also replaced June 5 as a public holiday by Easter Monday.
President Faure has also set up a new ministry of Family and Social Affairs- headed by former teacher Jeanne Simeon, to underline the importance he attaches to family values.
The past 7 months has seen President Faure off to a really good start and we must give him and his Cabinet, all the support required, to carry on where his predecessors have left off.
- Lepep i note
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